[tlhIngan Hol] number of words

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Fri Nov 22 06:19:29 PST 2019

Am 22.11.2019 um 14:38 schrieb Will Martin:
> I wonder how Klingon vocabulary stacks up against other artificial
> languages, especially those created and maintained by a single person.

I'm pretty sure that Klingon stil is "the fastest growing language in
the Galaxy", and the creator of that phrase never knew how right he
would ever be with that.

> {ghoj} and {ghojmoH} only count as one word because the second version
> is only a suffixed version of the first.

Add {ghojmoHwI'} to that list. :-)

I once made a straight syllable count which reduzed it to less than
3,000 words, and eliminating all the star trek related vocabulary we
even get closer to 2000. But on the other hand, if you respect that
nearly any verb can get a -moH or a -wI', and nearly any noun can be
combined with others, the true number of really available words, being
canon or not, grows up to certainly more than twice 4,000 words or even

That's the reason why Klingon can be used to translate many daily
situations even though we don't have a single word for each thing. It
was after TNK that I realized that Klingon seems to be intentionally
constructed not having a word for each thing; many ideas are simply
expressed using multiple words.

As a summary, saying that Klingon has 4,000 words sounds less than what
it really is usable for.

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

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